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Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma

Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma(NHL), like Hodgkin’s lymphoma pertains to a group of malignant lymphomas. A malignant lymphoma is a malignant tumor that starts on the lymphatic tissue. By definition, all malignant lymphomas that a not Hodgkin’s lymphoma are classified as non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and it is possible to differentiate between them only through a histologic study.

Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma originates in the white blood cells (lymphocytes) of the lymph tissue. These cells are responsible for preventing infections. Tbere are two types of lymphocytes that carry out different functions in the immune system: B- lymphocytes and T- lymphocytes. Thus, the lymphomas divide according to the cells where they originate into B-cell lymphomas and T-cell lymphomas.

Symptoms

Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma can produce distinct symptoms although these depend on where the lymphoma is located. The classification of the lymphoma is contingent on how fast the lymphoma spreads:

  • Indolent non-Hodgkin lymphoma (low grade) is slow growing
  • Intermediate grade
  • Aggressive non-Hodgkin lymphoma (high grade) is fast growing and quickly apparent

The main symptom of non-Hodgkin lymphoma is a non-painful swelling of the lymph glands. In addition, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, depending on the area of the body that is affected can cause the following symptoms:

  • Discomfort, coughing or shortness of breath caused if the cancer affects the thymus gland or lymph nodes in the chest, putting pressure on the windpipe (trachea) or its branches
  • Abdominal pain or swelling, leading to loss of appetite, constipation, nausea, and vomiting caused by lymphoma in the abdomen
  • Cranial nerve failure when the lymphoma affects the central nervous system (CNS): brain and spinal cord
  • If the liver or spleen is inflamed, the non-Hodgkin lymphoma symptoms can also include:
  • Drenching night sweats
  • Fever and chills that come and go with no apparent motive
  • Weight loss
  • Weakness or tiredness

Prevention

Avoiding the risk factors as much as possible.

Gene or region studied

  • SUN2
  • 4p14
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